In a high-stakes encounter at the Asia Cup 2023, cricket fans witnessed an intense showdown between arch-rivals India and Pakistan. The third match of the tournament unfolded at the Pallekele International Cricket Stadium on September 2, where India won the toss and elected to bat. However, what followed was a sensational start of Pakistan that left Indian fans in disbelief.
Shaheen Afridi dismantles India’s top order
Pakistan’s fast-bowling sensation, Shaheen Afridi, emerged as the chief tormentor for the Indian batting lineup, claiming two crucial wickets early in the innings. The first victim of Shaheen’s brilliance was none other than India’s skipper Rohit Sharma. The 23-year-old delivered an absolute peach of a delivery that cleaned up Rohit for 11 runs.
Virat Kohli chopped on off Shaheen Afridi’s fiery delivery
However, the real bow for India came in the form of Virat Kohli‘s dismissal, which sent shockwaves through the cricketing world. It all happened on the third ball of the seventh over when Shaheen delivered a searing short-of-length delivery outside off-stump to Kohli, and the batter attempted to punch the ball through the off-side, seeking a boundary. But unfortunately luck favoured the bowler, and the former India captain ended up with an inside edge that cruelly deflected the ball onto his stumps, leaving him to depart for a mere four runs.
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As Kohli trudged back to the pavilion, Pakistan gained a significant advantage in the contest. India, reeling at 27-2, found themselves in a precarious position. The loss of their two most prolific batters early in the innings left the team in a desperate struggle to recover.
India struggling to get going against the Pakistan pace battery
The fall of wickets continued as Shreyas Iyer and Shubman Gill joined the procession. Afridi’s spell of destructive fast bowling had set the tone for Pakistan’s dominance in the match as India’s top order crumbled in the initial phase of the game. Nevertheless, Ishan Kishan and Hardik Pandya are still on the crease and fighting hard to get the Indian side to a competitive total.
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